The new 18-story, nearly 400-room Potawatomi Hotel, 1721 W. Canal St., is slated to open on Monday, Aug. 18. We stopped in to get a peek at the nearly complete hotel.
Today, things look much different. Other than some detail work, some staff training, some rehearsal runs and a few finishing touches, the Potawatomi Hotel is complete. The hotel has hired more than 200 people.
And it's a nice place. The finishes are modern and the spaces bright. There are nature motifs throughout -- from reflecting pools of water captured in corridor carpet designs to lily pad lighting.
The rooms are well-appointed and all of them with windows facing east or north have views of Downtown. The west-facing windows look out over the Domes, Miller Park and beyond.
The 19th-floor (there is no 13th floor in the 18-story hotel) presidential suite -- with a rack rate of $4,000, making it by far the most expensive hotel room in town -- is sprawling and airy, with a long patio, two gas fireplaces and a has the tub with the best view in Milwaukee -- that I know of.
The Locavore restaurant in the lobby is especially fetching, with potted herbs on each table and an east facing glass wall ensuring plenty of light.
Potawatomi beverage operations manager Christian Damiano showed me the beer, wine and cocktails list. When you flip open the cover of this weighty menu you realize you're holding an iPad.
There's a plethora of banquet and meeting space, including one that's got an attached deck that offers views of the city skyline.
Designers have considered countless details, including the music on the elevators, which grows more soothing as the car ascends to the guest rooms and more exciting as it descends toward the lobby and attached casino.
Check out the slide show above to see a range of images from throughout the hotel.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.